travel

All photos available for print and licensing >

The other day a friend of mine emailed me asking me if I had Iceland recommendations because they just booked a trip for the summertime. Oh definitely yes I do and basically wrote a book with everything I knew about traveling to the nordic country. All the pros, cons and everything I would do differently. To be honest though, there weren’t that many cons. Way more pros and exciting things to do 🙂

So after that long email, it made me want to go back and revisit some of my older Iceland images. It’s been 2 years since last time I was there but still have great memories of the visit. I’ve never been in the summertime so I definitely noted that it would be interesting to see what it would be like with almost 24 hrs of sunlight. It makes me wonder if sleeping would be difficult .

This image was taken on my last trip there. Vík was one of my favorite places we visited and it’s always on the top of my to-see places whenever people tell me they’re going to Iceland. This was an early morning shot and by early morning I mean around 11:30a in Iceland because we were there in January and the sunrise was around 10:30. It was amazing to get to sleep in for so long but so weird when daylight was only 4 or 5 hours.

An early morning fog had rolled in and seriously illuminated the mountains like I had never seen before. PS Is it me or do you feel like eating a piece of steak now? LOL.

Iceland is definitely one of those places that I could go back to time and time again and not get bored.

My camera settings for this image is F6.3 at 1/50th sec and ISO 200 with my Sony A7ii and 16-35mm wide angle lens.

All photos available for print and licensing >

This image was taken on my way out of the Cholla Cactus Garden in Joshua Tree National Park at early morning just after sunrise. The sunrise was particularly colorful but unfortunately we weren’t able to capture it from the Cactus garden. The sky was starting to explode with color while we were on our way over there and ended up taking pictures somewhere along the side of the road to capture the Joshua Trees as foreground instead.

Its funny to me that all my recent trips and memories of Southern California has been in the winter time. I feel like it’s a totally different experience than if you visited in the summer. I bring that up because I was actually talking to Andrew this morning and we were trying to recall if California had a lot of mosquitos or not. To be honest, I don’t even remember seeing a lot of bugs in general. I’m sure if they did, there would be a lot in the summertime but because we have been there in the winter, I can’t even remember. Can anyone shine some light on this question?

Anyways, I got side tracked. Joshua Tree is an amazing place to visit if you’re ever planning a trip. I hope to go back sometime soon and see more of the park cuz it’s huge. Maybe in the summertime so I can see for myself about the bug situation? LOL. But I know the temperature difference is going to be extreme. While we were there it was super windy and so cold that at times it was difficult to be outside. I imagine it to be the same in the summer but with the heat.

My camera settings for this image is F4 at 1/1250th sec and ISO 800 with my Sony A7II and 70-200mm.

All photos available for print and licensing >

If you’ve never been to the Neon Museum, I’d highly recommend it. Out of all the times I’ve been to Vegas, I can’t believe I’ve never been before. It’s a really cool place with lots to see and reminisce on what used to be.

My mom and I used to go every summer while I was growing up. Her sister and family lives there so we would go and visit them all the time. I loved it. But what I didn’t realize was how family friendly Vegas was trying to be in the 90’s. At that time there was Circus Circus, Excalibur, Luxor was just built and for those super hot summer days, Wet and Wild was my favorite place to be. It wasn’t until I took the tour at the Neon Museum where I realized that that was happening and I was actually happy I grew up in the era of the “family friendly Vegas”.

Now it’s the total opposite of that but it’s still really cool to see these vintage signs. For example, this sign of the Stardust. I totally remember visiting the hotel and casino but even more so I remember watching the the building blow up on TV. My cousin told me that her and her friends were sitting on top of their car and watched it in person. Pretty cool if you asked me.

So if you’ve never been, I’d highly recommend the art talk provided the the Neon Museum. It was entertaining to listen to and learned a lot of cool facts. To be honest, the “boneyard” itself wasn’t big. I actually did a whole lap around before I found out about the art talk, attended the art talk, and then did another entire lap around the property. It worked out well because I challenged myself to keep the same lens on for each lap I did and could only switch when I was done. It definitely challenged me to be more mindful of things and I probably saw a lot more detail than I would have if I was just constantly switching the entire time. In case you’re wondering, 3 laps around the boneyard took me about an hour.

My camera settings for this image is F14 at 1/250th sec and ISO 160 with my Sony A7II and 16-35mm wide angle lens.

All photos available for print and licensing >

One of the really cool things about being in Las Vegas this time of the year was being able to see all the Lunar New Year decorations. Each hotel that participated had such different vibes and recreations of the holidays but my favorite is always the one at the Bellagio Hotel and Casino. I don’t know what it is about it, but they always seem to go all out for special occasions. So I knew I had to stop by at least once to check it out.

This was taken one night when I went on a walk alone with me and my camera. It was so much fun just taking my time to explore the city at night. So I basically started from our hotel and walked about a mile and a half on one side of the strip, turned around and walked on the other side on the way back to the hotel. I knew that I had to pop my head into the Bellagio and thought that the interior decor was crazy cool but then when I stepped out, I saw all the lanterns hanging above the entrance into the hotel. I was actually on my way to go watch the famous water fountain show but then I saw this reflection out of the corner of my eye and I had to stop. I get so excited when I see little surprises like this. The fountains of Bellagio were going to have to wait. LOL so worth it.

My camera settings for this image is F7.1 at 1/8th sec at ISO 1200 with my Sony A7II and 16-35mm wide angle lens. I didn’t use a tripod for this because I didn’t want to have to carry it around with me so I ended up balancing my camera on the edge of the water fountain which turned out to be perfect because I was able to capture much more of the reflection being so down low.

All photos available for print and licensing >

You know me, I love a good colorful sunrise and I think the best ones happen in the winter time. It must be something about the cold air that mixes with the clouds or something but some of my favorite images are usually in cold environments. That, and it’s probably easier to capture a winter sunrise because it’s later in the day (but harder to get out bed).

So I captured this image on the same morning as this image. The early morning color did not fill up the entire sky. It really was just a portion but I’m glad I had my 70-200mm to really zoom in on the most interesting part. Judging by this image, you could never tell. I really like how the streaks in the clouds are intersected by the Washington Monument but is it me or is it giving off a creepy vibe? It sort of feels like the two red lights on top of the Monument sort of look like evil eyes. Right? You see it? LOL It doesn’t help that the light is all behind the Washington Monument and making it look darker than it actually is. Maybe I should have saved this image for Halloween 🙂

Fun fact: Did you know the Washington Monument is the only monument in Washington DC? Everything else is a memorial. Funny right? I never realized until my friend, Birch mentioned it to me a little while ago. Now I can’t get it out of my head.

Anyways, I’m back home from Las Vegas and had an amazing, fun weekend with my family. Looking forward to going through all the images and sharing them with you 🙂

My camera settings for this image is F5.0 at 1/8th sec at ISO 2500 with my Canon 5D Mark II with my 70-200mm lens.

All photos available for print and licensing >

Photographers, tell me if you feel the same way: Sometimes after you travel, you feel like you need to just sit on the images before you can dedicate the time to edit them all. I don’t know what it is, maybe it’s the excitement of travel or something but I don’t know if I can do my best work right afterward I return home. Sometimes I’ll edit images along the way and be satisfied with them, but for the most part it’s always when I have had time pass where I’m really excited about an image. Am I the only who feels like that?

For example the image above. I have posted images from this same spot here and here and I really like them but I know I still have so many more images to edit and at the time I wasn’t too happy with them. I just needed some time to breath in between time to really remember the intention behind the image. So I ended up editing a whole bunch of images from Norway this past week. Some that I’ve posted before and redid, some that I have never worked on. I’m excited to share them with you  as time goes on:)

For this particular image, I love the mood that it is creating. Not only from the stormy clouds but the overall glow on the mountain sides and the ripples in the water. Norway is such a quiet country and I feel like this really conveys what it was like there. Ugh just looking at this image makes me want to go back. I loved visiting so much.

Just in case you’re planning on going, check out my road trip travel guide here.

My camera setting for this image is F10 at 1/40th sec and ISO 320 with my Sony A7II and 70-200mm ultra zoom lens.